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KPT crosses 45 MMT cargo handling mark

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Kandla, Apr 5 (UNI) Cargo handled by Kandla Port Trust (KPT) in the financial year ended March 31, 2006, has crossed 45 million metric tonnes.

Speaking at the 43rd National Maritime Day here today, KPT Chairman Janardhan Rao said this is likely to increase further next fiscal with the completion of Samkhiyali-Palanpur meter gauge section into broad gauge.

He said that setting up a container freight station would be the next step to boost cargo traffic through Kandla.

When completed, he said, the deep-sea port being constructed at a cost of Rs 1,200-crore with a draught of 17.5 metres at Tune, adjoining Kandla, could provide direct berthing facility for Suezmax ships.

Mr Rao said KPT handling charges of Rs 37 per tonne is the lowest among all the major ports in the country. At present, the port has eleven dry berths and six oil jetties with modern cranes.

Earlier, he unfurled the maritime flag as a fleet of tug boats, launches and floats presented 'sail march' on the occasion. It concluded with a cultural function.

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